Rashida Jones played Karen Filipelli on NBC’s The Office. The daughter of actor Peggy Lipton and musician Quincy Jones, she is biracial and also Jewish.
A magazine article noted she is “Constantly told she looks too light to play African American, and rarely cast in period pieces” because, she explains, “people like me didn’t exist.”
She admits it’s “been a bit of an uphill battle to be somewhere in the middle.”
On the other hand, she says, “it gives me a tiny bit more range, and because I don’t look like one thing or fit into one thing, the people who do cast me understand me as an individual and what I have to offer as opposed to what I look like and how it fits into their mold.”
She notes that casting opportunities are slowly becoming more colorblind, and as society becomes more multi-cultural, Jones predicts, “More and more you will see people look like me, where you don’t know what race they are, which is nice.”
She points out, “I can immerse myself in the cultures and pick and choose what I want and then just be myself. I have all these different groups of friends. The nature of who I am and the fact that I am so many things allows me to float.”
“Jones feels strongly connected to both her black and Jewish cultures.”
From The Daughter of Q, By Gerri Miller, American Jewish Life, January 2007, posted on fan site rashidaonline.com
Rashida Jones earned a BA in religion and philosophy at Harvard University in 1997, and served as musical director of the Hasty Pudding ceremony, the oldest theatre company in America. She is also a writer, model, and musician.